Welcome to Inner Geographies: Where Personal History Meets Natural History
Here is a link to a powerpoint that explains the basics (with visuals!): http://www2.santarosa.edu/f/?38566
LifeCore and EventCore Diagrams. Using the metaphor of scientific cores is a way to explore the timeline, texture, color and meaning of life events through the use of tree core or sediment core metaphors. Working from the beginning of your life to the present, you can create an individual core diagram that shows the major events, periods, and objects related to your life. EventCores are cores that focus on a specific slice of time.
Personal Reference Slides. Scientists use reference collections to help to determine and identify scientific unknowns. For example, if a unknown pollen grain is encountered by a scientist, she will look through a reference collection of known pollen grains to determine the identity of the unknown grain. In regard to our inner geographies, we are all given a set of "reference slides" by our family, values, and culture. What if the "givens" in our lives are incorrect? Examining personal beliefs and values, through creation of a reference slide collection, is a way to examine, and then to keep or discard beliefs.
"Clorpt." A modified version of Hans Jenny's soil science "Clorpt" equation (a soil property is a function of Climate + Organisms + Relief (topography) + Parent Material + Time) is used to examine the forces that interplay to create a person's history. In this model: Climate examines the sociopolitical climate surrounding an individual; Organisms delves into the influence of non-family persons and other biological organisms that influence a person's life; Relief (topography) explores personal connection to places, or "topophilia"; Parent Material examines the values and histories of an individual's family; and Time investigates personal use of time and the chronology of a person's life. LifeCores are an excellent way to explore the variable of "Time" in this context.
Inner Geographies. Maps are another way to examine inner geographies. By creating maps of important personal places, images and memories emerge to enrich creative nonfiction and memoir writing. Additionally, mapping internal spaces, the body, and cosmological connections can help you to orient yourself in diverse ways.
Personal Compass Roses. Compass roses are used to indicate directions on maps. In this exercise, you create a compass rose diagram that reflects the major forces that give you "direction" in life. This is a way of examining your inner compass points .
Writing. The information collected through the exploration of inner geographies can be used to create artistic representations and to aid in writing creative nonfiction and memoir.
Your Inner Geographies. My hope is that this site will resonate with people who are interested in exploring their lives in an interdisciplinary way, and then share their diagrams, musings, and writing with others. You will be able to use these tools to create core diagrams, reference slides, and Clorpt explorations, and then post your results! Please bookmark this site and keep checking back for more information.
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